Hosting a successful conference involves a lot of planning and can get quite intimidating if it’s your first time.
Ideally, you want to create “checklists” of the things you need to do and cross them off as you go. This helps ensure everything is in place to successfully host a conference. In this guide, we’ll go over six crucial steps you should follow when hosting a conference.
Step #1: Decide on your goals
The first thing you need to ask yourself when hosting a conference is: what do you want to achieve with your online conference?
You need to decide if you’re going to talk about a new topic, promote a product, or get the word out about your membership program. This gives your audience and staff members an idea of what to expect from your online conference.
Deciding on major goals can help streamline the process of planning the conference. This is because you have a visual goal in mind that needs to be achieved. It’s also a great way to let your staff members know what they’re supposed to do.
Additionally, it can help give you a timeline of your conference. This way, you can make other logistics arrangements for the given dates and it also gives you a better idea of when you can host your conference.
Step #2: Gather your team
Once you’ve fully decided on a major goal for your conference, you can start arranging your team members. Ideally, you want to gather people who also have the same goals as you.
Let’s briefly go over some of the teams you might need to set up when hosting your conference:
- Planning team. The planning team’s job is to make sure everything is going according to your plan. For example, the planning team makes sure conference venues are available and booked and all activities are in place and ready to go.
- Administration team. The main management team or the administration team’s job is to make sure everything from budgeting to ticket sales are taken care of. The administration team is needed to ensure proper attendee registration and budget allocation for your online conference.
- Marketing team. The marketing team will be responsible for handling all promotional content, managing the event website, and posting on all social media platforms. Their main purpose is to promote your conference and get more people to register for the conference.
- Volunteers. People who want to help without taking on crucial roles can become volunteers for your conference.
After assembling your team, one of your main responsibilities as the event organizer is to make sure your teams are properly communicating and coordinating with each other.
Step #3: Decide on a budget
One of the most crucial parts of hosting a conference is deciding on a solid budget plan. By doing so, you prevent any overspending and can help better manage your conference activities.
When deciding on your budget you should factor in costs such as the venue rent, transportation costs, catering costs, marketing and promotions costs, as well as the fee for hiring team members and event speakers.
Having an accurate estimate of what you can spend is also better for finding the right venue and service providers for your conference. Since you know how much you can spend, you won’t second guess when placing orders or booking venues for your conference. As a result, it can help save you time in quickly making arrangements for your conference event.
Step #4: Setup registration
Setting up easy event registration is crucial for hosting a successful conference. You want to offer people an easy way to register or buy tickets for your conference event.
A simple way to do this is by setting up an event registration form on your website. You can use a robust WordPress conference registration plugin – such as Event Espresso – to offer user-friendly event registration on your website. Event Espresso lets you offer easy-to-navigate event registration forms on your website. This way, you can easily collect all the information you need from attendees before they attend your conference.
Using event registration forms on your website makes it easier for everyone to connect with you and learn about the conference. This makes it easy for prospective attendees to register and is also a great way of promoting your event. In addition to this, you also want to offer users easy payment methods for purchasing tickets or subscribing to your conference.
For more information check out our guide on how to set up online registration for an event.
Step #5: Promote your conference
Promoting your conference is important for boosting event attendance and ensuring it’s profitable. Without a minimum number of attendees, it can be hard to break even or generate a profit after you’ve spent your budget on organizing and hosting the conference.
There are multiple ways you can promote your conference. Social media sites are one of the most popular and simple options. If you already have a following on social media platforms, promoting your conference can help you boost registrations.
You can also promote your conference on your business website by setting up an event registration page. Event Espresso offers a professional solution for creating event websites that help attract site visitors and boost event registrations.
Additionally, you can also promote your conference on relevant forums, use paid promotions to target a larger audience, or use influencer marketing to get the word out about your conference. You can also invite a VIP guest or an influencer to your conference. This helps you promote your conference event to the influencers’ fan following, as well.
For a better understanding of ways you can promote your upcoming event better, you can take a look at our guide on how to effectively promote your event online.
Step #6: Host your conference
When it’s finally time to host your conference, you need to ensure that everything is going according to plan.
During the conference, you can make sure all timelines of your conference are being met and all team members are doing their job. You can also interact with your audience during the conference and make sure that attendees are having a good time.
Once the conference ends, you can ask for a follow-up from attendees. This helps you collect important feedback that you can use to enhance your next conference event. In addition to this, it’s a great way to thank your attendees for joining the conference. This not only makes attendees feel important but also encourages them to join the next conference you organize.
Successfully hosting a conference is important for building a brand image and generating profits. Following the simple steps we covered in this article, you can create a “to-do” list that will guide you through each phase of planning and hosting a conference.
Ready to host a conference and let users easily register for it using your event website? Try out the Event Espresso demo today!